Let's Review! Artists share love stories at Valentine’s show hosted by La Jolla Art Association

By Will Bowen

"Our latest show is an exhibition of paintings that attempt to capture — through the medium of visual art — the essence of love, which comes in many shapes and sizes,” said Rae Ann Marks, secretary of the Jolla Art Association (LJAA) at the Feb. 15 reception for “Love Is a Many Splendored Thing.”

Landscape architect Larry Greenwood, who spends most of his time in Napa County constructing gardens for estates and hotels, such as the Hotel Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley, had three paintings in the show.

“This is a great area for surfing. It’s just too cold and there are too many sharks on the Sonoma Coast, so I come down here to surf and show my art. This is the third show I’ve been in here at the LJAA,” he said.

Greenwood graduated from UC Berkeley in 1973 with a degree in Architecture, Design, and Art during the time of the Vietnam War protests. “I’ve been married twice and divorced twice,” he said. “I think you have to approach love with an open heart and an open mind … and don’t be a control freak! People need some freedom and space.”

Artist Lee Katz, who showed a painting of her dog, said she loves animals and has five dogs at home. All are rescue dogs she got from the pound.

“We can love people or animals. We can love the moon and sunlight, the morning or the night,” Katz laughed.

Kay Kaplan, who’s been married for 30 years, had two small oil paintings in the show; one of a VW beetle, the other of her neighbor’s back gate. She shared her motto for a lasting marriage: “Listen, understand, and don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Kaplan’s husband noted, “My wife has a broad sense of humanity, which is reflected in her art work. In my opinion, the secret to a long marriage is to marry someone who is better than you, but never tell them that they are! And live each day with quality … then in the future, you will not have any regrets.”

The Kaplan’s friends, Anita and Mick Emate, married for just three-and-a-half years, took in the show. This is the second marriage for both. They were friends during college, but went their separate ways in life. Mick sought Anita out through a common friend after his divorce.

“Love is saying, ‘I am sorry and I love you,’” noted Mick. Anita chimed in, “He’s my answered prayer.”

LJAA President Mike Morse exhibited two of his digital art paintings. Each was made on a computer using an algorithm for fractals.

“One lady told me my art was too perfect,” Morse said. “She wanted to take it and do it as a painting, so it would have imperfections. It’s funny, but sometimes it’s the imperfections that make a work of art more valuable.

“As for love, I’ve not been too successful at that, probably because I’m a perfectionist and have high ideals, and reality rarely lives up to our ideals. That’s the thing about art, through it, you can reach a perfection that you can’t find in real life.”

Other highlights of the show included Marks’ beautiful painting of a mother and infant that she created made from an equally beautiful photograph; Margaret Kaiser’s young girl holding a white goose titled, “Queen of Hearts”; Gabriel Rayes’ two colorfully simple works; and Shirley Clark’s cartoon-like painting, “Two Musicians.” It fascinated because the perspective was all wrong but the error in rendering made it unique.

All agreed that the imperfections of others (or of our relationships) are, as in art, the stuff that makes things great and what we should treasure. JudyJudyJudy’s painting, “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all,” said it all.

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